Well now that the summer is winding down and the weather is due to change for the worse any time now, it’s time to check your tires. Once you’ve checked all the pressures it’s time to check for tread wear. Your all wheel drive Subaru may climb a snowy hill like a mountain goat on an energy drink but it can only do so if the tires are good. Take some time and inspect the tread depth at different spots on the tire. There is a simple way to do this and all you need is a penny. Place the penny with Lincoln’s head facing downward. If you can see the top edge of his head the tires are worn to their legal limit and it’s time to replace them. If they’re getting close you still may consider doing it now instead of when they’re totally worn out. Another important aspect of tire life is the tires age. A tire that still has plenty of tread can be more dangerous than one that is worn out if it has lost it’s structural integrity. Look closely for cracks in the sidewall of the tire and if you’re unsure, have a tire expert evaluate them for you. Think of an old and new rubber band. Side by side they look the same but when you go to stretch them, the old one starts cracking and then breaks. As tires age, and deteriorate due to sun damage, they loose their strength and elasticity also. If you are unsure of how old your tires are, there is a DOT Date code stamped on the tire. Here’s a link that explains the date code in more detail:
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Tire Rack article on tire date codes
Be safe out there!